The Youth Development Index (YDI) offers an inter-country comparison of the environment for young people, aged 15 to 29, across five key areas: education, health, employment, civic participation and political participation.
Launching the YDI and its accompanying website and report on 19 September, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “The Index raises awareness both of successes and of investment needs, it will help identify and share good practices between countries, and will enable the tracking of progress over time.”
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba added: “The current demographic profile of The Commonwealth, with a significant youth bulge in most member states, makes it more vital than ever that we engage in practical action that matches the sense of urgency and impatience for change being expressed by younger generations.
“The Commonwealth will continue to work with its member governments to develop and implement policies and programmes for the empowerment of young people.”
Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, Vijay Krishnarayan said: “It is tempting to see the Index as either an indictment or endorsement of past performances but rather we should see it as a spur to action, an aid to planning and a guide to the way ahead.”
Marc Kidson, Chair of the British Youth Council, added: “What is so encouraging to me, is that the Index is not a report about young people, it is a tool for young people. A tool to make sure they can draw attention to the challenges they face, a tool to make sure governments cannot assume they know best what young people need, and a tool to strengthen young voices with credible evidence.”
The YDI measures youth development in 170 countries including 51 of the 54 Commonwealth member countries.Of the two billion people in The Commonwealth’s 54 member countries, around 60 per cent are under the age of 30.
The YDI Results Report can be downloaded from the website www.youthdevelopmentindex.org